I Want to be that Man

“Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do [God’s] will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys”–C. S. Lewis, the Screwtape Letters.

In C. S. Lewis’ masterpiece, he writes from the point of view of one of Satan’s demons who is mentoring a young tempter. He basically tells him there is nothing more dangerous than a Christian who obeys when obedience or faith or anything else doesn’t make sense.

I want to be that man.

I want to be that person, the one who is obedient and faithful when it seems that all around him doesn’t work. That was Paul and Silas in prison early in Acts and Paul all alone late in his life.

When you read 2 Timothy, you see the man Paul who has been forsaken. You can feel the disappointment, even depression in the words of Paul. He has been forsaken and forgotten.

He tells Timothy to come quickly because he needs him. “Do your best to come to me soon. For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. . . . At my first defense no one took my part; all deserted me” (2 Timothy 4:9-16).

Whenever I read those words or think of their implications, I hurt for Paul. Who else has been so faithful and influential for the Gospel? How sad, “no one took my part; all deserted me.”

But read the very next verse. While people disappoint, God never does!

“But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the word fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever” (2 Timothy 4:17-18).

Faith when you can’t see and obedience when it doesn’t make sense, please God.

Paul counseled us not be weary in doing well. There are so many times when you simply want to throw up your hands and quit.

The pweson who pleases God is the one who is obedient and faithful anyway.

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  1. Scot Martin
    Jun 06, 2017


  2. Robert Lyster
    Jun 06, 2017

    When I read the title of the article, I immediately was reminded of a song by 4 Him: “A Man You Would Write About.” While it does not talk about following when it seems you are alone, the message is the same. You can find the video on YouTube. Just go there and type in the title.

  3. Sean Riecke
    Jun 06, 2017

    Thank you for this message Dr. Bailey. I think we all feel at times like Paul did during his time of imprisonment. However, like Paul, I’ve often find that staying faithful, prayerful and obedient during these times always gets me through it. I think it pleases God when we turn to him when we’ve reached a point where we realize our own strength cannot prevail by itself.I am thankful that because of my faith in Christ the words “when all hope is lost” do not apply to my life no matter what storm I find myself in. “For this light momentary affliction is preparing us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[Doing Good to All] Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. — Galatians 6:1 (NIV)